Keys to Understanding Bolivia: An Interview with Oscar Olivera

Win the elections and arrive at a Constitutional Assembly that changes the roots of the power structure in Bolivia: such is the proposal of Oscar Olivera, a leader of the country's recent social struggles. He supports, with much criticism, Evo Morales' bid for presidency. "It's important to avoid a transition with deaths," he said, although suggested that the crisis will be defined by force. The conflict with Evo in an assembly I attended, demonstrated how, in this climate, the present and future is decided. It is ten o'clock in the morning and in Cochabamba, Bolivia it is the hour to decide the future. On the second floor of the Federacion de Fabriles (the National Fabric Workers Union) there are some two hundred men and a handful of women listening attentively to the words of Evo Morales. Meanwhile, voices from the streets reach the meeting, repeating this phrase: "the people united…"

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Media Reform in Post-Jennings Era at Disney/ABC?

As 1960s U.S. antiwar activist Bill Ayers recalled in his 2001 book Fugitive Days, at the time of the October 1967 anti-war march on the Pentagon, the recently-deceased anchor of Disney/ABC's World News Tonight show, Peter Jennings, was the boyfriend of Diana Oughton's sister, Christina Oughton. [Diana Oughton would later perish in the March 1970 West Village Townhouse explosion that killed her and two other members of the Weatherman faction of Students for a Democratic Society]:


Sudan: The Shadow of a Death

The death on July 30th of the southern Sudanese leader John Garang de Mabior endangers a fragile and incomplete accord to end the 1983-2005 North-South civil war and complicates further efforts to bring to an end the conflicts in the four provinces of Darfur in western Sudan.  Garang, leader of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) died in the crash of a Ugandan military helicopter on its return from a meeting of Garang with the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni. Garang's aids and the helicopter's crew also died in the crash.  News of Garang's death led to violent demonstrations from his supporters who feared that the crash was no accident, followed by counter-violence against southerners. The situation remains tense.

Garang had enemies both among the northerners he had long fought but also among rivals for leadership among southern groups.  It was only a month ago, July 9th, that John Garang was installed as first vice-president of Sudan in a North-South power-sharing agreement, but the practical role of Garang and other southerners in the government, the administration and the army had not been worked out and may now be called into question.

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Global Notebook 8-10-05


Factions fighting over Mexico presidency candidates

MEXICO CITY – Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who left his job as Mexico City‘s mayor in July to run for president, is currently favored to win the nomination of the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD). But the party, originally formed through the alliance of several small leftist parties and dissidents who split from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), as well as the candidate himself, have been charged with corruption by Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  read more

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The New American Security State

Fresh on the heels of the London bombings, the U.S. government has been quick to exploit these incidents to further usher in the new security state, which claims to protect citizens from a threat it wishes the public to imagine requires governmental solutions. Never mind that none of these new measures actually increase anyone's security, except the security of those in power from those they govern.


The IMF and Usury: Crime Without Punishment

               "Blaming the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the difficulties faced by a country in times of crisis is like blaming the doctor for the patient's disease". This statement and others like "the IMF does not represent the interests of the G8" are part of an outrageous manual that teaches the organization's officers how to reply to the uncomfortable questions asked by the press. Perhaps, the text became effective after a reporter asked Anne Krueger - First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF - if her organization was responsible for the increasing poverty in Argentina, while he attempted to place before her eyes the photograph of a malnourished child, Krueger escaped like someone trying to avoid leprosy.